The FA

Lithuania 0-1 England

A Harry Kane penalty ensures experimental England end World Cup qualifying with a win

Sunday 08 Oct 2017

England brought the curtain down on another ultimately successful World Cup qualifying campaign with a victory in Lithuania.

The Three Lions had already secured their place at next summer’s finals with a game to spare last week, when Harry Kane’s late goal won their game with Slovenia at Wembley.

Lithuania 0-1 England
  • FIFA World Cup qualifier
  • Sunday 8 October
  • Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Live on BT Sport

And it was the Tottenham Hotspur hitman, wearing the captain’s armband, who proved decisive again and ensure Gareth Southgate’s men finished their group campaign on a high.

As expected, England showcased a new formation, with Michael Keane and debutant Harry Maguire flanking John Stones in defence with Kieran Trippier and Aaron Cresswell both making their full debuts either side of the three-man rearguard.

Added into that was an impressive display from another debutant in Harry Winks, who provided energy and mobility to the midfield with Southgate looking to examine all of his options ahead of next summer.

And it was Maguire who should have given England the lead when he got on the end of Trippier’s cross from the left but guided his close-range header wide.

At the other end, Lithuania’s best chance of the half came when the hosts took advantage of a slip from Michael Keane to break but Darvydas Sernas was off-target as his shot drifted the wrong side of the post.

England soon began to click and it was no surprise when the Three Lions took the lead just before the half-hour mark. The chance arrived when Alli was clumsily felled in the area by Ovidijus Verbickas, with Kane making no mistake to dispatch the resulting spot kick to give England a half-time lead.

Winks then almost capped his debut with a goal to remember when his fierce shot was parried away by home keeper Ernestas Setkus within ten minutes of the re-start.

And Cresswell also came close to sealing a dream debut when he got on the end of Henderson’s cross from the right, only to see his effort fly just wide.

Lithuania could have drawn themselves level in the later stages too, but substitute Deivydas Matulevicius shot straight at Jack Butland when through on goal.

There were half-chances for England in the later stages too, with sub Daniel Sturridge seeing a shot blocked before Maguire found himself on the end of a move again only to glance wide.

But with victory secured, England's road to Russia is underway...

England: 1 Jack Butland (Stoke City); 2 Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), 4 Michael Keane (Everton), 5 Harry Maguire (Leicester City), 6 John Stones (Manchester City); 7 Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur), 8 Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), 9 Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) (c ), 10 Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), 11 Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

Substitutes: 20 Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) for Rashford 72, 22 Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) for Alli 81

Substitutes not used: 12 Chris Smalling (Manchester United), 13 Jordan Pickford (Everton), 14 Kyle Walker (Manchester City), 15 Gary Cahill (Chelsea), 16 Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotsur), 17 Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion), 18 Jermain Defoe (AFC Bournemouth), 19 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), 21 Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), 23 Fraser Forster (Southampton)

Manager: Gareth Southgate

Goals: Harry Kane 27 (p)


By FA Staff